Ndebele committed to BRT, taxi talks

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Pretoria - Minister of Transport, Sibusiso Ndebele, says his department is still committed to engaging taxi operators on the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system.

Ndebele's comments come after the recent taxi strikes in Gauteng and Cape Town that left commuters stranded.

The South African National Taxi Council (SANTACO) had earlier claimed that the department muscled them out of negotiations on how the BRT would be implemented in the 2010 FIFA World Cup host cities.

"Discussion between us should never affect the ordinary woman and man who want to go about their normal business of life. Democracy is also about the freedom of movement," said Ndebele.

Ndebele said South Africans have thrown their weight behind government's plans to provide safe, efficient and affordable public transport.

"We want to re-iterate that the interest of the commuter remains paramount and, therefore, everything we do in public transport must ultimately benefit the commuter," he said.

Meanwhile Gauteng transport MEC, Bheki Nkosi, dismissed claims by taxi bosses that government was excluding them from the 2010 World Cup."All South Africans are ready and committed to contribute in any way they can to ensure that the country delivers a successful World Cup event," Nkosi said.

"We've always been positive that the taxi industry is on board and is part of this united national force that is committed and determined to make our country proud."